Could Drug Abuse Be in Your DNA? | Infographics

Nov 18, 2013     No Comments    Posted under: Health

For years, those affected by drug abuse and their family members have spent time wondering where they went wrong. They’ve thought about the choices they’ve made in life and wondered why addiction has plagued them when others – who have made the same choices at certain, critical points in life – have made the same choices and have been able to move on without a blink. Most of all, they’ve wondered why: why they’re more likely to struggle than others, why they’re stuck where they feel like they’re stuck and why they’re unable to control their addictions.

Could Drug Abuse Be in Your DNA? | Infographics


Could Drug Abuse Be in Your DNA? | Infographics


While it may not provide a lot of comfort, recent research has provided the start of an answer. Drug addiction is not always a choice. It doesn’t always point to a negative home life or an inability to make the right choices. Sometimes, it’s part of the genetic code, part of what makes us who we are and determines our futures to some extent.

Drugs: an Overview

There are many causes of drug abuse and addiction, below are just a few:

  • The use of legal drugs,
  • The use of prescription drugs,
  • Using drugs as an act of rebellion (especially prominent among teens),
  • Feelings of emptiness and depression,
  • Peer pressure,
  • The availability factor,
  • Using drugs as a form of self-gratification,
  • Simply experimenting at one stage of life or another,
  • Self-medicating, and more.

50% of all American children live in a household where at least one parent uses tobacco, is a heavy drinker or uses drugs illegally. Broken down further, 37% live with an adult who smokes or chews tobacco, 24% with an adult who drinks heavily or binge drinks and 13% with an adult who uses illegal drugs.

With those numbers in mind, a child of a drug addict is 8 times more likely to use drugs if he or she is the child of a drug addict. Could it be because of the environmentally prominent factors listed above? Maybe. But, research has shown that it can also be much more, much deeper than that.

Drugs and the Genetic Code

The body is comprised of around 30,000 genes. Some of them make a person more likely to have curly or red hair. Some make one individual much more susceptible to cancer or other diseases than another. And some make one person more likely to struggle with drug abuse than another.

In fact, 89 different genes have been linked to drug addiction. Does this mean that drug abuse is eminent if a person has genes that point in that direction? No. But, based on the fact that 21 of these 89 genes are linked to regulating various cell adhesion processes – creating links in the brain that cause a stronger than usual influence by drugs or other addictive substances – certain individuals are more likely to maintain an addiction based on their desire for certain drugs.

Don’t Discount the Environment

It’s important to account for the fact that just because a person may be more susceptible to addiction based on their genetics, this is not a guarantee. There is no gene that can predict with 100% certainty that one person will become a drug addict.

Instead, drug abuse and addiction should be looked at as something that is more likely based on genetics, but also heavily influenced by the environment. When looking at treatment options for yourself or a loved one, it’s critical to take both potential causes into account. Genetics may not guarantee an addiction, but it can play a larger role than once considered possible.

Brought to you by 12 Keys Rehab

Author: nKlik Inc.

Founder of Pick Analysis. He likes to surf around the web and explore contents related to his interest. You can follow his Social Network accounts at Twitter and .